Aging in place ideas for renovating a Brooklyn apartment

Our homes should be places of safety and promote good health, but often our homes work against these quality-of-life factors. I am an Aging-In-Place Specialist in Brooklyn. I see apartments being renovated all the time.  I see some really good design, but often I see apartment design that will make it difficult to live there if the tenant/owner’s physical ability changes.  So here are some ideas to think about as you make renovation decisions about your apartment.

In general:

  • Homes should be safe for people of all ages and abilities.  It should make guests feel independent and comfortable when visiting their loved ones.
  • Create spaces that are open and passageways that are wide.  Everyone will be very thankful for ease of motion throughout the apartment, whether someone has a stroller or a wheelchair/ mobility device.
  • If there are elevation changes between spaces (I see these mini-steps in the older apartments often), find creative ways to CLEARLY mark them – even with automatic lights at night if possible.  Try to avoid using door thresholds between rooms, if possible.
  • Natural light:  If, at some point, someone needs to be in the apartment for long periods of time, a big part of health for them will be lots of fresh air and natural light.
  • When replacing windows, choose casement windows that open with a crank or a horizontal sliding window.  Fresh air is so important, and some people can’t raise the sash of a conventional window (or lock it).
  • Choose lever-style door handles, not door knobs.  Not only are lever-style handles more stylish, they will be useful to all residents and visitors for years to come.  Something we might be seeing more of is keyless locks with touchpads to operate the lock. If you are having new locks installed, why not choose one that will be useful and safer; regardless, of your dexterity (and also helpful when your arms are full of organic groceries).

Consult with an Aging in Place Specialist if you would like to make your loved one or family member safer and more comfortable at homes during the golden years.

Kristine M Samms
856 345 9208
Safe, functional, dignified living in your home.

Leave a Reply